Take Your Dad to Work Day

Last week, Heather talked about other’s perceptions of the profession of art education in her article, “Just an Art Teacher Isn’t Doing us any Justice.” Along those lines, the statement I often hear is: “Your an art teacher, that must be so fun!”

If you have friends and family members that are not art teachers (and I’m sure you do), you have probably heard similar sentiments. If you’re like me, statements like this make you feel somewhat conflicted. On the one hand, our job is fun. In fact, I wake up every single day excited to go to work. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. On the other hand, being an art teacher is a lot of work, requiring a diverse set of skills.

Do you ever wish you could take these people to work for just one day, so they could see what your job is really all about?


Last school year, my dream was fulfilled when my dad, a small business owner who hasn’t been inside of an elementary school since he attended one, asked if he could come to work with me for a day. “This is going to be awesome,” I thought, and it most definitely was.

It was great to spend the day with my dad, and the kids thought it was so fun that I brought him to school. He helped pass out supplies, had thoughtful discussions with my students about their artwork, and thoroughly enjoyed the weirdness that is the elementary art room. Most importantly, however, he realized the effort and dedication it takes to be an art teacher. For example, after I had taught just one class he came up to me and stated the obvious, “Wow, this job is so much work. I can’t believe how organized you have to be.”

Duh, Dad. What did you think!?

Perhaps the sweetest moment for me was when my last class left the room. I went to a staff meeting, and he asked if he could take a nap.


 Do you have someone in your life that you would love to take to work with you?

How do you think they would respond?






Amanda Heyn

Amanda is the Senior Editor at AOE. She has a background in teaching elementary art and enjoys working to bring the best ideas from the world of art ed to the magazine each day. 


  • Erica

    Type your comment here.Wow your dad sounds amazing and this truly touched my heart. Especially the nap part! I bring my husband to school especially for special programming because he’s a chef and more importantly a GUY! There are so few make role models that I think it is important that as part of our community (we live right near the school) he helps! Now if I didn’t push him, he wouldn’t be picking stuff out of the garden or attending art shows but he DOES it! The kids love him and have figured out he’s my husband. They always ask aborted he’s coming to cook for them and always ask about our daughter ( 24/7!) anyway we can get awesome male role models in the schools, we need to.

    Kudos to your dad for not only being there for you but role modeling an awesome dad to the kids. Many of us don’t have dads like this and it is important to see!!!


    • Erica, I love that your husband comes to school with you! I bring mine occasionally, too. It’s so fun to have the kindergartners guess who he is. They always guess dad, brother, cousin…until one gets up the nerve to ask if it’s my “boyfriend.” :) You’re so right about having great male role models! I’m lucky, and I’m glad I got to share my dad for the day. 

    • Erica

      Amanda excuse all the typos!!! My iPad is always trying to change my words!!! I really don’t like the iPad. I think I’m the only person on the face of the earth.

      • I don’t like typing on it either! It’s tricky! 

  • Shorei44

    The day spent in Amanda’s classroom was a rewarding experience for me too. The kids were a riot and certainly seemed to be enjoying Amanda’s classes! It was also great to see my daughter’s professionalism, dedication and organization in managing her classes. No downtime meant no loss of control. I’ll admit to being tired at the end of the day and did take advantage of the prep room couch during her after class meeting. I can’t close without telling everyone how proud I am of Amanda! Lee (Amanda’s Dad)

    • Thanks for commenting, Lee! You can be very proud of your daughter, she is doing great things and her passion is contagious! You are so right- No downtime means no loss of control, which is so critical in the art room. The best feeling is when every kid is engaged in art making- You know you have done your job.